Industry group slams ‘cosmetic’ changes by FASEA

An industry association has taken issue with FASEA’s latest update and says the authority has failed to address key issues for the advice community.

Late on Friday (23 November), FASEA released details of its updated standards framework for financial advisers.

For existing advisers, FASEA will provided guidance on credits for previous course work undertaken, with an advanced diploma of financial planning eligible for two course credits.

Course work undertaken to attain an industry designation will also be eligible for two course credits and the related degree definition has been revised so advisers will be able to undertake an AQF8 graduate diploma.

AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston told ifa that while there have been the expected amendments the industry association foreshadowed following its lobbying efforts in Canberra, FASEA has still not addressed the basic fundamentals.

“These are just cosmetic adjustments. We will continue our lobbying campaign against FASEA and its promoters,” he said.

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The AIOFP held its annual conference in the Gold Coast last week, where members raised their concerns about the lack of industry representation in Canberra.

Mr Johnston revealed that several Coalition politicians he met expressed their surprise at what he called “the draconian nature of FASEA” and said they were unaware of the circumstances until recently.

He questioned why the fellow industry associations like the FPA, AFA and FSC have not raised their concerns with politicians in the past.

“We think the answer lies with them being too focused on collecting commissions on the education courses they will sell to their members,” Mr Johnston said.

"The advice community can no longer rely upon institutionally aligned associations to represent their interests in Canberra.”

The AIOFP wrote to members this week outlining nine concerns with FASEA’s updated framework:

1. FASEA has not addressed the gender discrimination against mothers with dependent children.

2. FASEA has not addressed the fact that risk advisers only deal in 20 per cent of the knowledge universe but still demand they need a degree.

3. FASEA has not adequately recognised past qualifications.

4. FASEA has not adequately recognised past experience.

5. FASEA has moved outside of academic convention by insisting that an adviser still needs to complete a course after passing an exam regardless of their past qualifications or experience.

6. The critical dates have not been moved in response to the delayed actions of FASEA, essentially 18 months have been lost.

7. FASEA has not addressed the financial imposition on advisers funding unnecessary education programs.

8. There is no consideration for advisers with substantial experience [but only PS146 compliant] who complete and pass the exam to leave the industry in a timely manner.

9. FASEA has constructed an unusual staged release of seven LI’s rather than a bundled package. Only two of the seven LI’s have a consultation period of two weeks, it appears they want to ‘sneake them through’ with the other five.

“This clandestine methodology is typical of FASEA’s opaque operation style and the way they have treated advisers with contempt,” Mr Johnston said.

Industry group slams ‘cosmetic’ changes by FASEA
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